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Jacques Potgieter

Jacques Potgieter

Jacques Potgieter

He became an honorary Australian by starring for the Waratahs in their Super Rugby triumph but Jacques Potgieter is set to go from teammate to fierce Test rival with a recall to the Springboks later this month.

The wildman flanker, who became a cult hero for NSW, is a favourite of Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer and News Corporation understands Potgieter will be drafted into the South African squad for home games against Australia and New Zealand.

Potgieter is currently playing in Japan for the Fukuoka Sanix Blues but recently returned to South Africa on holidays and spoke with Meyer at the Boks’ first Test win over Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.

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Jacques Potgieter

Jacques Potgieter was rarely complimentary about South Africans’ views on Aussies.

SOUTH Africans enter a game believing they can bash and bully Australians into submission.

The theory has long been surmised but after gaining valuable insight into the South African rugby psyche playing alongside Jacques Potgieter at the Waratahs, Bernard Foley now knows it’s not theory, it’s fact.

“He said he always enjoyed playing against Australians because he thought there was an opportunity to get one over them,” Foley said.

While polite in his public statements, Potgieter’s on-field brutality was more than matched by the candour with which he spoke to NSW teammates about how Aussies were viewed in the hard world of South African rugby.

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Jacques Potgieter

Ripping in: Waratahs forward Jacques Potgieter crashes into a teammate at training during the week.

The day the Waratahs wrapped up the minor premiership was the day Jacques Potgieter decided to tell his old club he was not interested.

The Bulls were having a chronic case of the Joni Mitchells – “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”. They had let Potgieter go after two seasons and watched him go from strength to damaging strength with a team that appreciated his skill set.

Now they wanted him back. Immediately. For three years.

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Big Will Skelton

The men they call “Big Will” and “Jackpot” could hold the key to Waratahs glory against the Crusaders on Saturday, so great has been their impact this season.

Giant lock Will Skelton has been nothing short of a revelation. At 135kg and 203cm, the 22-year-old does wrecking ball with finesse.

While Jacques Potgieter, the South African enforcer with flowing locks, has earned cult hero status at Moore Park.

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Jacques Potgieter

Jacques Potgieter during training ahead of the semi final against the Brumbies

Jacques Potgieter will start at lock for the Waratahs in this weekend’s Super Rugby semi-final against the Brumbies but coach Michael Cheika thinks Will Skelton could be a matchwinner from the bench.

Hard-running former Springbok Potgieter has got the nod alongside Kane Douglas in the second row for Saturday’s match at Sydney Football Stadium, which will decide who faces the Canterbury Crusaders or South Africa’s Sharks in the final.

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Jacques Potgieter

Jacques Potgieter – enjoying the Sydney experience

I’m sure that everybody who has been following the Waratahs and their progress to ending first on the 2014 Super Rugby log will agree that Jacques Potgieter has played an integral part in their rise.

He has been playing with the same robust “kamikaze” style that first got Heyneke Meyer to lure him to the Bulls, and that gave him his three Springbok caps, but he has refined his game at the same time.

As good as he has been to the Waratahs, the Waratahs have been equally good to him. He has evolved as a rugby player and instead of the Bulls forward blueprint of head down and charge, he has been delivering some deft offloads and touches. He is a much more rounded player, and the frightening part is, all within the space of one season.

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imageThe Waratahs have been the great under-performers in the history of Super Rugby but with the 2014 minor premiership wrapped up, they’re now just two home wins from a maiden title.

Seemingly always blessed with a talent-rich roster the Tahs, up until this season, have never really delivered on that potential.

The franchise then hit rock bottom in 2011 when crowds hit an all-time low and the club conducted a series of fan forums in an attempt to reconnect with a disenchanted supporter base.

Here’s five reasons why they’re finally flying in Super Rugby.

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Jacques Potgieter

Jacques Potgieter

The Waratahs used the power of the Australian dollar to kill off any hopes that the Vodacom Bulls may have had of luring utility forward Jacques Potgieter back to South Africa.

Potgieter is currently having a superb season with the Vodacom Super Rugby log leaders and has been one of the reasons Michael Cheika’s side has been doing so well, using his skills to good effect to provide more than just a traditional forward role with the Sydney-based franchise.

The Bulls had opened negotiations with Potgieter to return for next year’s Super Rugby tournament after he left them a year ago, but these were snubbed out by the Waratahs, who made a significant counter offer to keep him in Sydney.

It is understood that Potgieter wanted to return to try and make the squad for the Rugby World Cup after being in the Springbok set-up in 2012.

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WaratahsJacques PotgieterFormer Springbok and Bulls forward Jacques Potgieter has been promoted to the Waratahs starting team for their Super Rugby clash against the Reds in Sydney on Saturday.

According to the Waratahs’ official website, it is the only change made by coach Michael Cheika from the team that earned a 43-21 bonus-point win over the Force last Sunday.

Potgieter will start in place of Will Skelton at lock, with the 21-year-old dropping back to the bench.

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The 4th Article in the set discussing the Vodacom Bulls.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOOSE FORWARDS in the Vodacom Bulls 2013 Super Rugby group, and what their worth will be in Super Rugby terms.

Wow, 5 CURRENT or very RECENT Springbok Loose Forwards in the Bulls Super Rugby group and only 3 can start a game… Plus 2 Junior World Champion Under 20 SA players in the broader squad. Which other Super Rugby side can muster or even sniff such quality?

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